SEAN Treacy’s under ten boys certainly fulfilled their potential last Saturday by maintaining a 100% unbeaten record in the annual Ulster Provincial under 10 hurling blitz.
The venue was the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt. Hurling clubs from all over Ulster travelled to this amazing building; a huge facility boasting three astro turf pitches that allowed games played under full rules and two smaller pitches perfect for ground hurling.
The event was fiercely contested and all of the teams showed the capability to succeed but the skill and determination of our young local players was enough to see them win four out of five matches and draw the fifth. Donning the Seán Treacy jersey were Aidan Hegarty, Aodhán McComb, Fiontán McComb, Kane Laverty, Cory Laverty, Thomas McMorrow, Lewis McCavigan, Gabriel Basara, Cain McCrory, Odhran Meehan, Ruairi Og Gaynor and Pearse Scullion.
The boys understandably displayed signs of nerves prior to their opening match but these feelings were soon put to rest with a 3-0 to 0-0 victory over Bríd Óg from Belfast. The match was won with a very steady team performance. A busy keeper (Kane) ensured no goals were conceded. A solid defence (Lewis, Cory and Aidan), a mighty midfield (Aodhán and Fiontán) and a very strong forward line (Thomas and Gabriel) led to three exceptional goals, each scored by Thomas.
The second game was against Craobh Rua from Camlough who initially provided a more difficult test for the Lurgan team. After the opening two minutes it seemed this north Armagh south Armagh battle was a very evenly matched affair - until four goals ripped through the back of the Craobh Rua net. Goals came from Odhrán, Cory and Ruairi Óg.
Next would be Seán Treacy’s most difficult challenge so far as they took on North Belfast’s Ardoyne Kickhams! Armagh don’t meet Antrim too often in competitive games, particularly at senior level, but the under tens fought a very fiercely contested battle in a twelve a side monster of a match. Shoulder blades clashed, ash flew and fingers were bruised but the Treacy boys stuck two more sliotars into the back of their opponents’ net. Cian Mc Crory added his name to the score card and Kane Laverty amazingly retained his clean sheet in nets.
The fourth and penultimate game of the blitz was hotly anticipated as both Seán Treacy’s and St. Enda’s of Glengormley went into the game with a one hundred percent record and victory for either side would surely give them the best record of the day. The side from Belfast put the Lurgan boys under pressure throughout the match and managed to score the only goal conceded by the Seán Treacy’s all day. Both sides battled hard for the win and St. Enda’s had to do a fair bit of defending themselves. They looked to have secured the win until the Treacy’s team stuck a goal into the right corner of their net. A 1-0 to 1-0 scoreline was a fair result.
The last match of the day was the opportunity for Craobh Rua to have their revenge over the unbeaten Sean Treacy’s side. Craobh Rua’s goalkeeper’s puck outs caused trouble in the Lurgan defence but brave defending from Aidan, Lewis and Gabriel denied their opponents on numerous occasions with some very brave blocks and tackles. Pearse Scullion certainly left his best performance until the final game. His solid defence linked with the sheer bravery of Fiontán’s tackles allowed the Treacy forward line the opportunity to smash three further sliotars to the back of the Camlough net.
Undoubtedly this result will be a huge boost to our growing under ten boys; growing physically, growing skilfully and now the growing realisation that they can compete at the highest levels.